POLICE ATTACKED over 300 protesters outside the Public-Private Partnership second annual global summit, hosted by the Irish government in Dublin on Wednesday of last week.
Over 30 people were hit over the head with truncheons. One person was hospitalised. The next day speakers at the conference included Paul Boateng, Labour's financial secretary to the Treasury.
Anti-capitalist group Globalise Resistance called the demonstration against privatisation. Campaigners came from all over Dublin and Waterford in the south east of Ireland. The protest encircled the venue.
There was a delegation of workers from Dublin Buses, who are threatened with privatisation themselves. Workers from Ballymore Eustace Waterworks and other Dublin council workers also joined the protest to oppose the privatisation of the water services. Aer Lingus workers, who are facing up to 2,500 job cuts, were also on the demonstration.
TDs (MPs) from the Green Party and the Socialist Party spoke at the protest, as well as speakers from the Socialist Workers Party and the Union of Students in Ireland. At around 7pm over 100 people on the protest tried to get into the venue hosting the event.
As the peaceful sit-down protest was winding down the police announced they would forcefully remove people. Before anyone could move the police carried out a baton charge. Sixteen protesters were arrested and charged with public order offences. 'This is clearly part of a deliberate government crackdown on the growing anti-capitalist and anti-war movement,' said Richard Boyd Barrett, the SWP speaker who was arrested at the protest.